TAMPA — The improbable playoff team got an improbable goal that led to another improbable victory in an entirely improbable season.
What else would you expect from Wharton these days?
The host Wildcats rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime and penalty kicks, where they were perfect in a 3-2 (4-2 on PKs) victory over St. Petersburg for their first playoff win in a Class 6A region quarterfinal. .
"We were last in the district; who would have thought we would win that, let alone a regional quarterfinal game. It's amazing," said senior forward Fallon Vaughan, who tied the score in the second half with a high floating kick that she angrily turned away from after booting.
The shot seemed to freeze the Green Devils keeper, who never made a move on it.
"I didn't watch it," Vaughan said. "I was so mad out there at the time, and I just tried to kick it towards the goal and I had no idea it was going in. I had already turned around (to get back on defense) and then I saw everyone cheering."
The Green Devils (13-5) scored in the 29th and 36th minutes to lead 2-0, but their second goal was answered 45 seconds later by Jessica Murray, slowing down St. Petersburg's momentum.
Vaughan's goal in the 59th minute led to extra time and eventually penalty kicks, where Brittany McNickle, Emily Belanger, Baylee Dozark and Ashley Deschenes were perfect for the Wildcats.
Keeper Heather Montgomery didn't need to make a save, as two Green Devil players sailed their kicks over the crossbar.
The Wildcats (15-9) have now won 11 straight matches, and will host defending state champion Palm Harbor University on Tuesday.